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Polar Bears alone atop OAC after 64-60 victory over Muskingum

ADA - Ohio Northern's women's basketball team built a 13-point lead with 5:33 in the second half and was able to hold off a fiesty Muskingum team to win 64-60 Wednesday evening at the ONU Sports Center.

The win keeps ONU in first place in the Ohio Athletic Conference at 12-3, 7-1 OAC, while Muskingum falls to 7-7, 2-6.

Northern now holds sole possession of first place in the conference after No. 15-ranked Baldwin-Wallace fell to John Carroll 80-73.

Megan Cevasco led Northern with 11 points and seven rebounds, including five offensive boards.

ONU's all-time leading 3-point shooter Jenny Markle only managed one 3-point attempt and two shots from the field but still managed to score six points and dish out seven assists, tying a career high.

After Markle hit a layup with 5:33 to go and give the Polar Bears a 55-42 advantage, the Muskies switched to a full-court press and were able to chip away at the 13-point deficit.

Muskingum used an 18-5 run to tie the game at 60-60 with 46 seconds remaining.

Ohio Northern answered by scoring the final four points of the game thanks to a driving jumper in the lane by Alisha Rinehart with 22 seconds left and two free throws by Markle with four seconds left.

The Muskies got off to a quick start, building an early 12-6 lead over the the Polar Bears.

MC was able to sustain the lead until 10:55 remaining in the first half when Tricia Fuller hit a layup for ONU, giving Northern a 17-16 lead.

Erin Brand then hit a jump shot to put ONU up six, but Muskingum responded with a 10-0 run to take a seven point lead with 4:13 in the first half.

Emily Culbertson made a jumper with three seconds in the half to cap off an 11-4 run for the Polar Bears and tie the game 30-30.

The Muskies had 12 offensive rebounds in the first half compared to just eight defensive rebounds for the Polar Bears.

ONU changed things after the half, outrebounding MC 19-11 in the second half and giving up only two offensive boards.

Brand scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds for ONU, while Leah Zimmerman added 10 points.

Muskingum's Tiffany Youel led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-18 from the field and 4-of-10 from behind the 3-point line.

Ohio Northern will again be at home on Saturday to host Mount Union at 3 pm.